Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, February 20, 2009

Education survey shows reo complacency

The Maori Language Commission is warning people are getting complacent about learning te reo.

Chief executive Huhana Rokx says the annual report on Maori education confirms Te Puni Kokiri's 2007 survey on the health of the Maori language, which showed a drop in the number of tamariki getting the foundations of the language at early childhood level.

She says despite the increased use of Maori greetings and simple phrases, too few people are pursuing their studies to the level the language needs to survive.

“We're about Maori language regeneration. That’s about kia korero he a te reo i nga waahi katoa i nga waa katoa, and it’s also about proficiency, kia matatou i te reo Maori, and the research is telling us the sooner you begin the journey, the easier it is,” Ms Rokx says.

She'd like to see Maori parents getting their children into Maori language pre-schools, to give them a chance to become native language speakers.

OWNERSHIP ISSUES LEAVE RESERVE UNCARED FOR

The iwi responsible for one of Taranaki's most historic waahi tapu says it can't clean up the site until its ownership is confirmed.

Turuturu Mokai reserve near Hawera is considered one of the best examples of a pre-European Maori pa in the country, but it is covered in rubbish, graffiti and burnt-out buildings.

Ngati Ruanui chairperson Ngapari Nui says the iwi was given the reserve in 2001 as part of its treaty settlement, but it needs to be devolved further to the Ngati Tupaia hapu.

He says in the interim the iwi should have asked the council to continue maintaining the reserve.

He the Ngati Ruanui has to get total support from trustees before passing on the reserve to Ngati Tupaia.

MAORI ALL BLACKS PIQUE INTEREST IN MAORI SIDE

All Black and Chiefs centre Richard Kahui says making the New Zealand Maori team made him more aware of his taha Maori.

The Ngati Maniapoto man says since he made the team in 2006 he's been motivated to learn tikanga and some reo.

He's also become aware of the expectations rangatahi have of him as a role model.

The Chiefs take on the New South Wales Warratahs in Sydney tonight.
LABOUR SLUMPS IN POLLS

Labour is languishing in the polls ... but Maori voters still seem to love the party.

Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says that's the good news he's taking out a TV3Baseline poll which shows National at 60 percent support and Labour slumping to 27 percent.

He says Labour's Maori support is holding up well, and more will return to the party once the inevitable tensions between National and the Maori Party emerge.

“Still in the honeymoon. We know we’ve got a lot of work to do but we also know as the journey goes along people will start to differentiate for themselves what our edict is and what the Maori Party-government’s is,” Mr Horomia says.

RESCUE PLAN TO TURN AROUND TURANGI DEVELOPMENT

Directors of a stalled housing development near Turangi are confident a revised project can succeed.

Te Whenua Ventures, a joint venture between several Tuwharetoa trusts, Auckland property investors Jon Spencer and Steve Hawkins, and former cabinet minister Richard Prebble, planned to build more than 2000 homes, a fishing lodge and golf course on a former Landcorp farm on the eastern side of the Tongariro River.

Director Dickson Chapman says when the state-owned farmer sold the 650 hectare block to Mr Spencer, Tuwharetoa approached him with a commercial proposal to regain a stake in the historically significant land.
He says changed market conditions means the joint venture needs to change its plans.

“Are we going to pursue the extent of development that was envisaged. The honest answer would be no. But we will be looking at something that makes it commercially viable to continue to secure the interest in the block,” Mr Chapman says.

While Westpac Bank has brought in receivers to collect rent on the land, Te Whenua Ventures can keep on trading.

COMPETITION HOTTING UP AT TE MATATINI

The competition gets serious today at Te Matatini, as the country's top kapa haka battle it out to find the country's best Maori performing arts group.

Twenty teams are set to perform through the day at BayPark Stadium in Tauranga.

There are 36 teams in total, the most for a long time, in three pools of 12 teams. The nine finalists are drawn from the top three teams in each pool.

The competition today will see defending champion, Whangara Mai Tawhiti open up the day.

Around 30,000 people are expected at Baypark Stadium of Ohutu a Taiiti, but there could be more because of the returning teams from Te Arawa, who haven’t been at the nationals since 2002.

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